The Latest in IT Security

British Student Attempts to Hack Facebook

20
Aug
2011

hacker_predatorIn the world of hackers, there’s much ‘honor’ to be had in hacking big institutions such as the pentagon, CIA and big companies such as Microsoft and Apple. Facebook, of course, is fair game and has, in fact, attracted its fair share of would be attackers, the newest one being Glenn Steven Mangham, a 25-year old student in the UK. He tried repeatedly to hack Facebook’s servers but ultimately failed in all his attempts. He downloaded several different programs to help him do so, but to no avail. All he got from his little endeavor was a date with the court.

Mangham made several attempts to hack Facebook between April 27 and May 9, none of which were successful. User data has not been compromised by the unsuccessful attacks, so there’s no need to worry. Still, Facebook takes every attempt to hack into their system very seriously, and has even gone so far as to cooperate with Scotland Yard in order to apprehend suspects.

Mangham was arrested and laden with 5 charges in all, three for unauthorized access to a computer program and two for committing unauthorized acts with intent to impair operation of, or prevent or hinder access to, a computer. The police found several computers when they raided his home and seized all of them. Right now, though, Mangham is out on bail. Some of the conditions for his temporary release were that he be disallowed from accessing the internet through any device. He’s also being restricted to live and sleep in his own house and nowhere else. His troubles are not yet over, though, as he will still have to appear in court next month for a committal hearing.

Mangham’s attempt, though unsuccessful, is both concerning and heartening. It’s great to know that Facebook has enough defenses set up to keep hackers out, yet it’s pretty frightening to think that there are people out there who are dead set on hacking into the social network. Facebook’s safe for now, but then what if the day comes when one hacker is actually successful in his attempt? This brings to mind that incident with the hacker group, Lulzsec, in which several Facebook usernames and passwords were posted in the internet along with several Paypal and email accounts. With this in mind, it would be wiser to trim the amount of data that you put into Facebook and also to put it on an email address separate from your own.

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